The Art of Intermission: Why artist should know it is ok to stop making art for a while. / by Kasandra Murray

 I decided to travel to the Rocky Mountains to find some inspiration and take a break from art.

I decided to travel to the Rocky Mountains to find some inspiration and take a break from art.

Four Months.

This is how long it has been since I have felt passionate about making art. Four months of walking into my studio space only to look around for a brief moment, then softly back out and close the door behind me. Four months of questioning if I am on the right path. Four months of insignificant doodles in my sketchbook that only made me feel more cumbersome.

As an artist, whether you are mostly self taught or have learned through a more formal class setting you always hear, "You must draw every day! That is the only way you will get better!"

What a load of bull shit.

You may grow your skill set by practicing this ideal lifestyle of an artist, but there are other important things you need to be a great artist. Such as a healthy mind and soul.

I encountered many artist speaking about going though these moments in life where they feel burnt out, exhausted and depressed. It isn't talked about very often, but we have given it a terrible name, we call this an "artist block". I hate this name because we act as if it is a simple obstacle like a wall, or pot hole we can maneuver around. There is so much more to this, because growing up identifying as an artist you lose a sense of self when you stop making art.

I would like to say you are more than your art. You are a complex person, with many interest, hobbies and dreams.

It is ok to stop making art for a while.

Focus on a hobby for a while. Maybe one you put down to work on art, or one you hesitated to jump into because of your art. Take some time off and go somewhere. See something you haven't seen in a while, or ever before. Spend time with people who make you feel amazing and happy. People who make you laugh so hard that your face hurts from smiling.  Be a little selfish.

This will make you a better artist. We all need time to recoup from working so hard. When you feel you have had enough time to rest set a goal for yourself, and make it happen .

Sign up for a convention, show or open your commissions. Start planning your next piece, project or goal.

I can't tell you how long you should rest. There is no right number, this is something you will have to decide for yourself, but I want you to know that it is normal to take a break from art.

Just do you.

Your biggest fan,

-Kasandra